No on-field practice hurts Whittell in loss to rival VC
ZEPHYR COVE, Nev. — After being limited to practicing football inside a gymnasium, Whittell High School stepped onto the field for the very first time Saturday on the road against rival Virginia City and returned home with a 40-8 loss.
Practicing in the gym severely limited the Warriors ability to prepare with no opportunity to work on kickoffs, punts, pass coverage or passing routes and there was limited contact.
Despite the disadvantages, and not faring well against the Muckers passing attack, Whittell Head Coach Doug Patton saw many positives, especially from senior lineman Mason Brown and linebackers Malachi Womack, Jack Forvilly and Jack White.
“Mason was a disrupter and redirected several inside runs,” Patton said. “Malachi and Jack were also instrumental in slowing down the run game. It was the pass defense and on the edges where we need to improve. The kids played hard to the end and I saw things I really liked from players who will have to play big roles as the season moves on.”
Former head coach Phil Bryant returned to the field to help Patton when his assistant coaches from last year became unavailable due to off campus work commitments.
Bryant said the VC game plan was limited because there was simply no space available to plan a balanced attack.
“We couldn’t run routes or teach spacing and the quarterbacks throws were limited to the width and length of the gym,” he said. “We struggled with line blocking from the point of picking up blitzes and sustaining blocks. It was that way at every position but like Doug said, we will get better. Womack was his usual tough minded self and picked up tough yardage all game. Forvilly and White also played tough in the running game but with virtually no passing game, the Muckers loaded the box daring us to pass.”
The coaching staff also said conditioning was a factor as several Warriors play offense and defense and the size of a football field is much different than a gym.
Patton and Bryant were joined on the sideline by former Warrior Jake Sharp and all three agreed that the game provided a great opportunity to evaluate players and their performances.
Patton was pleased with the amount of fans willing to travel and watch the game from the parking lot when they knew they wouldn’t be allowed in the stadium.
Next up for the Warriors (0-1) is a road clash against Smith Valley (1-0) at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 20.
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